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Public Health Bill enjoys wide support

Hon David Cunliffe
Minister of Health

27th June 2008 Media Statement
Public Health Bill enjoys wide support

The new Public Health Bill, voted back to the house this week by the Health Select Committee, will future proof public health for generations to come, said the Minister of Health David Cunliffe today.

“There is now a broad consensus of support for the bill which was reported back from the Health Select Committee. Among those who supported the bill.

• The Obesity Action Coalition
• The Public Health Association
• The Cancer Society of New Zealand
• Office of the Children’s Commissioner

Eminent Diabetes researchers told the Health Select Committee that diseases relating to diabetes are now causing 4,000 deaths a year in New Zealand and are currently costing over $ 400 million dollars in Hospital bed stays alone.

“The Bill aims to reduce risk factors associated with non-communicable diseases. Because these are now the major cause of illness and death in society and have over-taken communicable diseases.”

“Two thirds of the submissions on this very important bill were in support and most of third of submitters that opposed it at the Select Committee said they would be happy with the changes that have been made. I personally consider the bill is now a very significant and workable compromise,” said Mr Cunliffe.

“ The regulatory provisions are there to encourage self regulation and future proof legislation that has not been changed since the 1950’s .There is no plan to regulate anything as the regulatory codes are there as a backstop only.”

“If a Minister of the Crown, in the future, did want to regulate for non communicable diseases under this legislation, he would require the approval of cabinet, clear proof that self regulation was not working and that there was simply no alternative.”

“This is a very high bar to set for any future Minister who was of mind to regulate,” said David Cunliffe.

“This landmark legislation will be debated in the coming weeks and I expect it be passed into law this year,” said David Cunliffe.

Click here to view a full copy of the Health Sub Committee’s report.


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